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Case Name Benjamin H. v. Walker PB-WV-0001
Docket / Court 3:99-cv-00338 ( S.D. W. Va. )
State/Territory West Virginia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On April 30, 1998, developmentally disabled individuals eligible for Medicaid benefits filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Social Security Act, the Medicaid Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution, against West Virginia's Secretary of Health ... read more >
On April 30, 1998, developmentally disabled individuals eligible for Medicaid benefits filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Social Security Act, the Medicaid Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution, against West Virginia's Secretary of Health and Human Resources in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Plaintiffs, represented by public interest attorneys, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, and class certification. Specifically, Plaintiffs claimed that Defendants were violating federal law, resulting in Plaintiffs not receiving prompt benefits.

On July 15, 1999, the Court (Judge Robert C. Chambers) denied Defendants' motion to dismiss and granted, in part, Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Benjamin H. v. Ohl, 1999 WL 34783552 (S.D. W.V. Jul. 15, 1999). The Court found that Plaintiffs were suffering serious, direct, and ongoing harm because of Defendants' violations of the ADA.

On October 8, 1999, the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The class consisted of: all current and future West Virginia residents with developmental disabilities who are Medicaid beneficiaries and who are eligible for the level of services funded under the Intermediate Care Facility and/or the Developmentally Disabled Home and Community Based Waiver services.

The Court issued an order regarding Count IV (Opportunity to Apply) and Count VI (Medicaid and Due Process Notice and Hearing Rights) on March 7, 2000. The issues raised by those counts were settled. The compromise required Defendants to make an eligibility determination about individuals applying for waiver services within 90 days; all person were to have 90 days to request a hearing.

On March 15, 2000, the Court issued another order detailing partial settlement reached between the parties. In part: Defendants were required to develop capacity within the behavioral health services delivery system to ensure adequate service provision; individuals eligible for ICF-level care were to be afforded a legal representative; any individual could apply for Home and Community Based waiver services; and, Defendant would seek to expand its waiver slots.

On August 9, 2000, the Court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to Count VIII, relating to the reimbursement rate for residential habilitation and respite care services. The Court found that Plaintiffs failed to prove that the reimbursement rate did not allow for adequate access.

On October 17, 2002, after a compromise between the parties, the Court ordered Defendants to pay approximately $125,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.



On March 6, 2009, the Court denied Defendant Secretary of West Virginia Department of Health and Human Service's motion for relief from prior orders. Benjamin H. v. Walker, 2009 WL 590160 (S.D. W.V. Mar. 6, 2009). Defendant had sought relief from class certification and the settlement claims, but the Court found that there were no extraordinary circumstances to warrant relief from the orders.

On April 8, 2009, the Court ordered Defendants to: develop a single eligibility process for all Medicaid programs that are utilized by waiver eligible applicants; expand its eligibility criteria to include services to children; file a Medicaid state plan amendment to include the provision of personal care services in the home or community; make annual budget requests to at least maintain current appropriations; and meet with Plaintiffs on a quarterly basis to assess the adequacy and efficiency of the waiver program.

Haley Waller - 05/19/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services
Plaintiff Description Individuals with developmental disabilities who are eligible for Medicaid benefits
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:99-cv-00338 (S.D. W. Va.) 04/08/2009
PB-WV-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION 04/30/1999
PB-WV-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 06/04/1999
PB-WV-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum In Support of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 06/28/1999
PB-WV-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS 07/15/1999 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 07/15/1999 (1999 WL 34783552) (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 08/17/1999
PB-WV-0001-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OF DEFENDANT, JOAN OHL, IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 09/02/1999
PB-WV-0001-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 10/08/1999 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER 03/07/2000 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER 03/07/2000 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER 03/15/2000 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT 03/17/2000
PB-WV-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
POST TRIAL MEMORANDUM 04/03/2000
PB-WV-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER 07/25/2000 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AS TO COUNT VIII 08/09/2000 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER 09/20/2002 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER 10/17/2002 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 03/06/2009 (2009 WL 590160) (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
AGREED ORDER 04/08/2009 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chambers, Robert Charles (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0001-0001 | PB-WV-0001-0002 | PB-WV-0001-0003 | PB-WV-0001-0004 | PB-WV-0001-0007 | PB-WV-0001-0011 | PB-WV-0001-0012 | PB-WV-0001-0013 | PB-WV-0001-0014 | PB-WV-0001-0017 | PB-WV-0001-0018 | PB-WV-0001-0019 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bailey, Regan Monica (Maryland)
PB-WV-0001-0008 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Brown, Teresa (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-9000
Bryson, Kent (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-0002 | PB-WV-0001-0005 | PB-WV-0001-0006 | PB-WV-0001-0008 | PB-WV-0001-0015 | PB-WV-0001-0016 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Hedges, Daniel F. (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-0002 | PB-WV-0001-0004 | PB-WV-0001-0005 | PB-WV-0001-0006 | PB-WV-0001-0015 | PB-WV-0001-0019 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Mayne, Regenia (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-0007 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Murphy, Timothy R. (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-9000
Pomponio, Bren (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-0007 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Stitzinger, Kimberly L. (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-0002 | PB-WV-0001-0004 | PB-WV-0001-0010 | PB-WV-0001-0016 | PB-WV-0001-0019 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Vaughan, Charlene A. (West Virginia)
PB-WV-0001-0007 | PB-WV-0001-0009 | PB-WV-0001-0010 | PB-WV-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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